19 June 2018

Namibia: Suspects in Massive Cocaine Seizure Denied Bail

Walvis Bay — Two suspects arrested on Friday at the port of Walvis Bay in connection with a container carrying cocaine worth N$206 million made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court yesterday morning.

The duo, South African national and businessman, Dinath Azhar, 62, who resides at the luxurious Longbeach resort and Grant Noble, 36, from the drugs-ridden Naraville suburb in Walvis Bay, appeared before Magistrate Vicky Nicolaidis on charges related to drug possession and trafficking.

Prosecutor Tresia Hafeni opposed bail due to the magnitude of the case and the fact that a trans-border crime was committed.

She further explained that the State feared the duo might abscond and interfere with the ongoing police investigations that could see more arrests.

"Hence we are requesting that they be denied bail and the case postponed until 20 September," she said.

Magistrate Nicolaidis then postponed the case and told the two suspects they can formally apply for bail through their lawyers.

Jan Wessels appeared for Noble, while Azhar was represented by Marinus Scholtz.

Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu told the media on Friday that swift action and cooperation between the Namibian Police, Namport Security, and Customs and Excise intercepted the container on Friday, around lunchtime at Walvis Bay, as the duo were about to claim the illicit contraband.

The drugs were stashed in copy paper boxes and were declared as stationery at Customs and Excise.

The container arrived on June 9 on a vessel from Brazil, coming via Cape Town to Namibia, and was kept under surveillance by port security who received an international tip-off about the large consignment of cocaine on its way to Walvis Bay. It is not yet clear whether the drugs were meant for Namibia or whether the container was in transit to other African countries.


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